Gacad: Be grateful for women

MARCH is National Women’s Month. The celebration is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day (IWD). In the Philippines, Proclamation No. 224 s.1988 declared the first week of March each year as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day; Proclamation No. 227 s.1988 provided for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month and Republic Act 6949 s.1990 declared March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day.

“We Make Change Work for Women” is the theme from 2017-2022. The theme highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development.

Who are the women we need to be thankful to?

Foremost, is the Blessed Virgin Mother who immaculately conceived our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NIV). Without Mama Mary, Jesus would not have accomplished His mission for us.

I miss my mother, Florfina Fontanos Abubo Gacad, who passed on a few years ago. She was a public school teacher who touched so many lives by her simple act of caring and giving.

Our mothers deserve all the thank yous in the world! Without them, we would not be around and without them, the other people we love, and those who love us back, will not be around either.

The celebration of the lives and contributions of women to our existence goes beyond men wearing ladies shoes as a symbolism of men being in their shoes. The theme suggests that we should sincerely make genuine change work for women.

That signifies that change should come, foremost, from within ourselves so that we can make a positive difference not only on how we treat and view women in particular, but more importantly on recognizing the invaluable role women play in each and everyone's life.

There are mothers and sisters, wives, friends and teachers. These heroes help steer us in the right direction, get us back on track and cheer for us on at the finish line.

They are blessings that come just at the right time and with purpose. They are everywhere - in school, at work, online, in the community and within one's own family. They serve as powerful role models, anchors, life coaches, motivators and firm reminders of who we are and what we can become.

We, men, can be great mentors too. But it is the commonality of womanhood that makes women true life mentors.

As we celebrate National Women's Month, let us look back and be filled with gratitude for the influence women had on we men!
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